tv Politics Nation MSNBC April 17, 2013 3:00pm-3:55pm PDT
the blast. how arel evidence? you're the expert. >> well, you laid it out correct, reverend al, and mike as well. that photograph shows where that bag was placed, the photographs later show that as the epicenter of the blast. it's right next to a metal trash container that kind of looks like a mailbox to a lot of us but apparently it's a trash can. it was the seed of the blast that they are working on. you can see the debris field that goes off to the right of it, a lot of people were severely injured there. you can see that in the early photographs. you mentioned, reverend al, debris on the roof. you can see investigators going directly above on ladders right there, probably uncovering the top of the pressure cooker. and those that were shielded by
the trash receptacle. now, that looks like the epicenter of one of the bombs. you said a critical point earlier and that was that the fbi had a video from the store lord & taylor, a person dropping a backpack. and maybe earlier, you mentioned, he was on the cell phone. they are trying to track that tone through the tower to identify him. >> how could they track that phone through the tower? tell me how that happens? are you saying that they can find the cell phone, try to pinpoint this person, where the phone came, supposed it was one of these throw-away phones. >> well, they can know from the digital technology with the phone company how many calls were being made at the moment that 9 photograthe photograph w. there may be some process of elimination. some of the other calls could be further out. there's a chance they could say it's one of these few numbers,
one of these several numbers and they might be able to narrow it down. if they can, the commanders have to make a decision and that is, and you got right to the point of it, maybe we ought to keep this close. if we can narrow it down and i.d. the guy, we want to do that without notifying the world. if they can't identify him within a reasonable amount of time, they are going to have to gain public support by showing that photograph by showing who that guy is. >> michael, what do you have on the cell phone? do you know anything? have you got any sources on this? >> reporter: no, but i would think they would need to recover the cell phone to trace it to an individual. i think it would be hard based simply on the tower because, remember, there were a lot of people in that area during that time. that's a lot -- and my assumption would be a lot of them were on their phone calls
making phone calls through that tower. so there would be a lot of phone numbers to go through to wooed out to account for all of them. look, there's a wealth of evidence in this case but it's going to take a long time to sort through. the biggest break could be to identify the suspect and hope that it's the suspect involved. the way i'm told it would work is they would not initially make the -- if they cannot identify from the facial image who that person is, they would first distribute that image to law enforcement, federal, state, and local and say have you ever seen a picture of anybody that looks like this and see if it gets any hits. that would leak out at some point. it wouldn't be long before they would seek the public's help on who that person is. and then, you know, there's the
further question of matching it together with the evidence and there's a wealth of evidence, as i said before, but there's a lot of really hard work that is going in to trying to first reconstruct the bomb and then also trying to piece together where the elements of this bomb were purchased. i'll give you one example, i spoke this afternoon with a company that made that battery pack found among the debris. it was a battery pack that's commonly used to power toy cars and trucks and it's sold in toy stores and in hobby stores. tens of thousands, the company told me, have been sold in just the past year. that's a lot of sales. and it's going to be very difficult to take that battery pack, which they've recovered, and then try to trace it to an individual purchase. that's just one example of the kind of painstaking work that
this is going to entail. >> has there been any major progress? are these guys moving forward? as you answer that, let me show you, here's an fbi photo of a bomb part. the battery and wires. then you have the fbi photo of bomb part -- the pressure cooker. and then the photo of the bomb part of the electronic component or what is known as a circuit board. how are these used in evidence and bottom line from what you've heard, do you think they've made any significant progress today? >> yes, i think they have. they are going to take those items and forensically examine them for fingerprints, for dna, a piece of skin or hair there. it could have survived, there's a chance they will examine for that. tool mark examinations, other serial numbers like mike was talking about, where the devices come from, the parts of the
device to track them back. but that's all going to happen and it's pretty normal and they are progressing on that but it's more of an earth-shattering lead in a case to have a video of a person setting the bomb down. that's really, really good. so they have to make decisions just like mike described. i agree with mike 100%. can you identify the cell call or not? if you can't, if it's a throw-away cell phone or too many numbers, is there any other way you can identify the person? you distribute to law enforcement. widen the distribution, the quicker it's going to leak. that's the real world. and then you have to put it out to the world. the commanders are going to have to make those decisions. it's a significant break. >> james calf nau, james isikoff, thanks for your time tonight. >> thank you. today, the false reporting that a suspect had been arrested
became a big part of this story. cnn led several news organizations in suddenly reporting the false information early this afternoon. >> wolf, we have information one of our sources from our national security fran townsend, boston law enforcement source tell me that an arrest has been made. >> the suspect has been arrested in the boston bombings. >> i want to be very careful because people get sensitive when you say these things. i was told by a source of law enforcement official that this was a dark-skinned male. i'm making a personal judgment, forgive me. >> according to the a.p., the suspect has been taken by u.s. marshals to a federal courthouse. >> now, this was huge news. big crowds, big crowds began forming outside the courthouse in the belief that the bomber would soon be taken there. while many news organizations were racing to air, nbc news was
careful and deliberate. >> what we've been told by several sources, there is no arrest. >> all of a sudden, the story on some other networks began to change. look at the banners on the bottom of the screen. they began rolling it back. >> a third top federal law enforcement official is saying to us now, that makes three, no arrests have been made. >> there's been no arrest and, in fact, a suspect has not been identified by name yet. >> significant progress has been made but no arrest. anyone who says an arrest is ahead of themselves. >> a reporting error in a painful situation is bad enough. especially with victims and families and so much of the court eagerly waiting to see who will be brought to justice for the murders in boston. still, mistakes do happen and we all understand that.
but there was another part of this failure that deeply troubled me. it was what the cnn reporter john king said when he was describing the person supposedly under arrest. >> i want to be careful about this because people get very sensitive when you say these things. i was told by one of these sources, a law enforcement official, that this was a dark-skinned male. i'm making a personality judgment, forgive me, but i'm not trying to flame tension. they said it is a dark-skinned male. >> dark-skinned male, coded. offensive language. here's how eric whimple wrote about this. "in a story leak this, reporters justifiably feel pressure to pass along any and all details that they extract from their law enforcement officials. after all, why wouldn't you? well, in this case you wouldn't because dark-skinned male is useless information that borders
on inflammatory. king apparently approached this tid bit with a mind set of restraint, saying that he withheld scertain details that e learned from his killer source. so why didn't he put dark-skinned in the basket? what assistance would the dark-skinned offer? should king have mentioned that the suspect had two eyes and a nose? not ftwo eyes and a nose but a dark-skinned male. these comments are very offensive and have no place in a discourse, especially at a time when the americans are coming together as one. what king's word did is to make every dark skinned male in boston a suspect and that's a shame. sure that we were on schedule.
us about what happened at the boston marathon? stay with us. i'm telling you right now, the girl back at home would absolutely not have taken a zip line in the jungle. (screams) i'm really glad that girl stayed at home. vo: expedia helps 30 million travelers a month find what they're looking for. one traveler at a time. expedia. find yours.
it was a day of confusion and misinformation. it was a very active and productive day at the crime scene. investigators have identified solid leads from video evidence, including images of a person or persons carrying and dropping bags at the bombing scene. authorities say there's footage of a man who they think may have placed the bomb. they reportedly have the face but not the name of a potential suspect on video leaving the bag near the scene of the blast.
an official saying the person was scene on surveillance camera from a lord & taylor department store. what is going on in these meetings tonight? joining me now is clint van zandt. clint, thanks for being who are. >> good to be with you, al. >> clint, put yourself inside the office in boston tonight. >> yeah. >> where are you and what are you doing and what is the team doing? >> number one, you take a deep breath and realize that there are 60 agencies involved. some of those in law enforcement may be some type of source for the media. the last thing that investigators want and you and i are part of the media, but the last thing they want is a media feeding frenzy. we only have to think back to
richard jewel and the olympic part bombing and the absolute foot race that took place between the fbi and so-called investigative reporters trying to track down richard jewel, his house, his mother, all these other things. all that does is screw up an investigation. they'd like the pro vsh yell cone of silence put over the investigation. they'd like to identify the suspect, see if we can limpg him to the forensic evidence, build a case, make an arrest, get him in jail and then have a press conference and say, we have the guy. the last thing you want is the information linked in advance and realize there were 1,000 people outside of the courthouse who in the very least wanted to get a look at these guys when the authorities brought him in. that doesn't serve the investigation and you have an absolute right for that righteous indignation that you
have about that information being released without double or triple sources. >> now, they call this solid leads. are they watching someone now? what does that mean? >> for me, best case scenario is authorities have identified who that person is on the video camera who allegedly has his hand on a bag or drops a bag that is believed to be the explosive. then, we have -- what investigators say we have him in pocket. you know, we know who he is. we know where he is at. we're watching him, we're monitoring his cell phones, his internet activities. we want to see if there's anybody else involved, a co-conspirator. that's the best case. the worst case is, we're trying to find the guy before the media finds him and interviews his neighbors, his families, and everybody else and contaminates
the information. >> profile who this might be for you. i mean f. you're in the room there, profile for me who this may be for you and where do you think this bomber could be? >> well, so far we have no information to suggest an international conspiracy. we know these so-called pressure cooker bombs have been seen for years in the middle east, in afghanistan and places. we know they were used two months ago in india to cause murder and mayhem. we also know that a u.s. soldier in 2011 was building two similar devices to attack members of the military al, you no longer have to get a plane ticket to go to afghanistan, go to a terrorist bomb school. you can sit there on the internet and get all of the information that you need. so whether this is a timothy
mcvey, a single interest, lone interest type of individual, whether it's someone radicalized, whether it be political or religious. al, it would be easy for one person to do it. easier for two. no evidence of a larger group involvement whatsoever. and al, these bombs are so delegate that they were likely assembled in the same immediate area otherwise, the bomber could have blown them up driving from point a to point b. >> thank you for joining us a. passionate president obama slamming the shameful republicans who voted against 90% of the court. plus, new incredible stories of survivors from the boston attacks and the heroes who saved them. stay with us.
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the personal toll that these attacks have taken. graduate student lindsey liu of china. she was studying math and statics at boston university and loved blogging about the meals she ate here in the united states. the chinese government expressed their sympathies today in a statement saying, our hearts go out to the families of this terrible tragedy. a story like beth roesch who saw her daughter becca compete in her first marathon. they took this picture together on sunday, just moments after rebecca crossed the finish line. beth was left with a shattered kneecap but her injuries were the least of her worries. >> i saw becky's friend
walking -- she was hopping into marathon sports and she this blood coming out of her leg and i was so sad and then i didn't know where my kids were. i didn't know where my husband was. i didn't know where my daughter was. she had just finished. she had just finished. >> thankfully rebecca was safe and reunited with her mother. the injuries are devastating. but survivors are now actively searching for the people who saved their lives. a 17-year-old high school senior pictured who are moments after the attack had just one request for her aunt when she woke up from surgery to repair her ruptured femural artery. find matt, she said. we would all like to thank him. and the parents of jeff pictured here have been desperate to get in touch with that man in the cowboy hat. he rushed to their son's side
moments after the blast. the man in the cowboy hat, he saved jeff's life. i've got to talk to this guy, jeff's mother told reporters. the stories of heroism as we try to figure out what happened on monday afternoon. joining me live in boston is msnbc chris jansing, host of "jansing & co." she went this afternoon to talk to people in dorchester, the hometown of the youngest victim of the blast. chris, thanks for being here tonight. >> thank you, rev. >> tell us, what was the mood in dorchester today? >> reporter: well, i should first say that this is a very strong community and you can't help when you get there to notice that. i spent a lot of time at the community center, spent a lot of time at a local play ground. the kids are out of school. it's spring break.
a lot of moms were there with their children spending time together and they talk about how important it is for them to be together at this time. i would also say that the shock of what happened here a few days ago is wearing off and giving way in many cases just to deep sorrow, to heartbreak and the reality is setting in. several of the mothers told me that their children have been wicki waking up in the middle of the night, where is marty? why can't he play baseball with us? it's a community that has a lot to face forward. >> how have the mothers handled trying to talk to their kids about this? how do they rationalize and explain to little children why their friends are gone? >> reporter: they talk a lot about heaven. a couple of the mothers said to me they were afraid they didn't know the right way to do it. martin was a member of st.
anne's parish. a few of the mothers told me that father shawn has a great way with kids and they were thinking about going over there and asking father shawn to talk to them about what happened to martin but it's a conversation no parent should ever have to have, obviously. >> you spoke with some people in dorchester, talking about prayers. one man said he felt compelled to say a prayer for martin. listen to this. >> i found myself getting emotional watching the news coverage on the tv about martin. it just broke my heart. >> he could be any kid, right? >> yeah. i actually took a picture off the wall in my house and showed my wife with big brown eyes and big ears and said, that could be me and i went to my prom, i played high school sports, i enjoyed my childhood and here's an 8-year-old kid that's never going to enjoy the things that you will a of us enjoy and it just breaks my heart and i was hoping to come to the church and
say a prayer for him and his family and maybe that would help me heal a little bit. >> wow. that is -- is he representative of a lot of the people you've talked to today in dorchester? >> reporter: yeah, without a doubt. and i think it's helpful. you know, they've seen the people coming and leaving flowers and candles. the people i talked to today were amazed, by some estimates, 1,000 people came to the memorial last night in dorchester and it does help. it helps them to know that people care and that other people are feeling tlear pain. bun little boy in a stroller just turned 3 years old looked at me and said they ran out of candles and his mother said, you know, he's trying to understand what all these people are here for and talking about. and so it does help them that they see so many people just coming. the man you just saw, he drove, then he got on the subway and then he walked with his wife
more than an hour to get to that church to pay his respects. >> wow. i want to bring in "boston globe" columnist kevin. thanks for being here tonight. >> thank you, al. >> the stories of heroism by the first responders are nothing short of astonishing. but you write that they don't want to be singled out for what they did. >> yeah. actually, that fear house two blocks from here, i just finished up with chris last night and ran the two blocks to talk to these guys. engine 7 and tower ladder 17. and i guess it kind of shows you how small or big city this is. when these guys go out to the scene the other day, when they went among the people on the ground, they recognized these people. one of the guys on engine 7, his daughter is in third grade with martin. and he looked at martin. and he looked at bill, his dad. and he knew him.
the guy that was driving engine 7, they call him a and his daughter is in the same step dance school as little jade richard who lost her leg. this is how small -- this is how much it hurts here. these guys worked as hard on their neighbors as their friends. i have to tell you, al, it was cops, firefighters, ems people, and just ordinary people. it was race officials, just ordinary guys that you mentioned, like carlos. just ordinary people -- i tell you whatever the force is behind -- who put that bomb there, they don't match up anything to the force of the people that went over those barriers and helped those
people. >> now, you wrote in the column how you were saying these guys were heroic and they were doing their jobs for those that they knew well or were strangers. >> like i said, eddie kelly is the head of the union. he brought me in to the station but they didn't want their names in the paper because they didn't want to show anybody up. but i know them. i knew two of them and the other thing is, two are combat veterans and they served their court over there. they served the city over here. i'm proud that they work for us. >> nbc kerry sanders spoke with a firefighter who helped save lives on monday. here's what he had to say. >> she was in pain. she was scared. i'm not sure how old she was but she looked very young to me.
she said, i'm scared. >> as i look at this picture, i see a burley hero, you, not just helping somebody but comforting somebody. what do you see? >> somebody hurt. people say, who do you get to, who do you help? it's one patient at a time. >> i see somebody hurt. that's what we are really trying to show america. these people -- these first responders are just trying to respond and do the job that they were committed to do and i think that is hero we can. kevin? >> he will wiwell, i asked thes what did they think? they didn't know if there were going to be secondary explosions. marines were convinced it was going to be biological weapons. they called it -- it's the pucker test. i said, what's the pucker test? that's when a certain part of your body tuckers up and they said they had to fight through
that and basically accepted that they might die there but they just do what they have to do. it's something buried in the heart of every cop, every firefighter, every emergency service worker in this town and we saw it on display the other day. >> amazing. some thought it was biological weapons but they weren't and some civilians helped out. kevin cullen from "the washington post" and chris jansing from "jansing & co.," thank you for your time tonight. >> thanks, al. >> thanks. ahead, the first lady on what we can all learn from boston. stay with us.
we've learned today the first lady will join the president as he heads to boston tomorrow. earlier today, the first lady spoke about the attack for the first time. she reminded us that this tragedy has brought out the best in the city of boston. >> what happened on monday was a reminder that in times of crisis here in america we respond with courage and grit and selflessness. that's exactly what we saw from the people of boston and from all those who rushed to aid the victims, especially the police officers and firefighters, the first responders, and our men
and women in uniform. that is the spirit of boston but it is also the spirit of this country. >> and you better believe that's a spirit that can't be broken. i don't like to golf. i love to golf. ♪ [ grunts ] yowza! that's why i eat belvita at breakfast. it's made with delicious ingredients and carefully baked to release steady energy that lasts... we are golfing now, buddy! [ grunts ] ...all morning long. i got it! for the win!
as authorities continue to investigate the bombings in boston, they will be looking to history to solve the case and unfortunately they have a lot to go on. in the 1993 world trade center bombing, six people were killed. in the oklahoma city bombing in 1995, 168 lost their lives. the unabomber 2ed kaczynki killed three people. one person was killed in the atlanta olympic park bombing. it may provide clues. joining me now is mark potok and
editor for the intelligence report and "hate watch" and by phone, edwin evan coleman. what do you notice about the type of event that the bombers chose, a marathon. what does that say to you? >> it's very difficult to pin this on one group or one cause right now but if you do look at the targets here, at least in my opinion, this doesn't show an extreme right-wing group or white supremacist group. there's no doubt that these kinds of groups have gone after marches and parades but that's more to civil rights marches, tied to a political cause or some particular event that is significant to one supremacist. aside from monday was
patriots day, it's hard to see how it would fit into their agenda. also looking at the actual device that was used here, it was built using pressure cookers. no one has a monopoly from that technology, it does happen that al qaeda and yemen has very recently been urging people to build their own homemade bombs using, guess what, pressure cookers titled under "how to build a bomb in the kitchen of your mom." so certain thrly there are a lo questions out there. these facts look suspicious. >> mark, you're the expert on extremist right-wing groups. do you agree with evan, you don't know or you don't think so? >> well, i agree with evan.
i think he's right on. when you look at the target, you know, what do those people at the boston marathon really have in common? you know, they are not -- they don't represent the government, they don't represent the irs. it was tax day, of course, on monday. they are not a particular minority group. they are not black people, brown people, muslims, latinos, so on. it seemed to me that the targets had in common is that they were americans. i think evan's right. we don't know where this came from but it does seem difficult to understand the targeting and if you look at the kinds of actions that radical right wing groups have carried out in the past, they attack targets that you can understand, a federal building, a gay nightclub, black church, those kinds of things. >> and we don't have any of that here and you don't see the data that is significant as well. >> well, the data is
insignificant for the following reason. patriots day is important on the radical right but it's the date of april 19th that they care about. that's the date of the oklahoma city bombing, the beginning of the american revolution, of the start of the war, and a few other important historical dates. patriots day is celebrated in massachusetts on the third monday of april and that's why in massachusetts and only massachusetts patriots day was celebrated on a monday. >> so we don't know and we're not fingering anyone, we are all trying to find out what happened here. evan, what will the investigators be looking for here and also i want to ask you about this letter that we sent to president obama. what will the investigators be looking for here? let me ask you that first. >> i think some of this stuff we
already have a good clue about. they have put out a general call for anyone with video footage of the end of the marathon or any part of that area to come forward and present the footage and i think that's really what they are looking for right now. if there were suspicious packages that were the source of these explosions, it's a very concentrated urban area in boston. there were a lot of cameras and people with their own private cameras. the assumption is that somebody caused something. as far as the ricin goes -- >> any chatter from overseas or anything like that. >> i'm sorry. what is that? >> will they be listening for chatter from overseas or anything like that. >> you about bet. that's one of the things that the u.s. government is doing. the law enforcement level as well as the intelligence level. they are being looking to see what terrorists are saying and in fact we already have a very
prominent group who said we had nothing to do with it. >> they already said they didn't. >> i'm out of time. i'll have to talk to you about the letter another time. thank you for your expertise. thank you both for your time. we'll be right back. [ female announcer ] switch to swiffer 360 duster extender, and you'll dump your old duster. swiffer 360 duster extender cleans high and low, with thick all around fibers that attract and lock up to two times more dust than a feather duster. swiffer gives cleaning a whole new meaning. i'm here in your home,
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the response to the boston marathon attack reminded us that this country doesn't run away from challenges. as americans, we have the courage to stare it down. and yet in washington that added to a 46 senators blocking a bill on universal background checks. that included six republicans who had supported background checks in the past. today, standing with the relatives of newtown and gabby
giffords, the president blasted those senators. >> we had an obligation to try. and this legislation met that test. too many senators failed those. i've heard folks saying the families of victims lobby for this legislation was somehow misplaced. a prop somebody called them. are they serious? do we really think that thousands of families whose lives have been shattered by gun violence don't have a right to weigh in on this issue? do we think their emotions, their loss is not relevant to this debate? so all in all, this was a pretty shameful day for washington. everybody talked about how we were going to change something
to make sure this didn't happen again. just like everybody talked about how we needed to do something after aurora. everybody talked about we needed to do something after tucson. and i'm assuming that the emotions that we've all felt since newtown, the emotions that we've all felt since tucson and aurora and chicago, the pain we feel with these families and families all across the court who have lost a loved one to gun violence, i'm assuming that's not a temporary thing. i'm assuming our expressions of grief and our commitment to do something different to prevent these things from happening are not empty words. i believe we're going to be able to get this done. sooner or later, we're going to get this right. the memories of the children.
>> how could they vote against background checks. the six republicans who supported background checks and now changed their mind was it that the changed president and so committed to giving him a defeat you would sacrifice the safety of your constituents? thank you for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. >> hot pursuit. this is "hardball." >> good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. there have been potentially significant developments in the boston terror investigation today amid a lot of conflicting